(BEDFORD) - Two gates were erected to block illegal off-highway vehicle riding on the Huron-Scarlet Road and County Road 825 North.
With the cooperation of the Orange County Commissioners, the Hoosier National Forest is closing these unimproved county roads to motor vehicle traffic.
Darren Norrington, Civil Engineer on the Hoosier National Forest, explained, "The only traffic using the roads was off-road trucks and all-terrain vehicles, and both were getting off the roads and causing significant resource damage."
Norrington estimates by closing the 0.75-mile Huron-Scarlet Road, also called Fox Hollow Road, and the 1.2-mile old County Road 825 North, the Hoosier has eliminated access to 6-7 miles of illegal OHV trails on the Forest.
"Though gates have been installed, foot traffic is welcome," Norrington said, and in fact said a mushroom hunter in the area Monday was pleased that the Forest was closing the area to the illegal traffic.
The Forest plans to return to the area later this year to rehabilitate the damage and disturbed area in Orange County caused by the OHV riders.
Norrington said many of the trails were in close proximity to the stream and are causing water quality concerns.
Law enforcement officers will increase patrols in the area to ensure OHV riders do not continue to use the area or go behind the gates. Illegal riders can be fined up to $375 and have their vehicle impounded.
For more information contact the Bedford Office at 812-275-5987.
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